I started a food diary today. I don't want to lose weight, per se, but I definitely want to tone up a bit. I'm starting to get flabby. No good. I always hear about how great food diaries are because it makes you really think about what you're about to eat BEFORE you make mistakes. And I've always been one to finish all the pasta on my plate. ...And then get seconds. So I think I could use this.
I'm using an app on my iPhone called MyFitnessPal. It was free! All you do is put in your current weight and height, and then your goal weight, and it calculates how many calories you should be eating each day. Then you enter in all the food you eat - including water - and it tells you how many calories you're eating. It's great because not only does it tell you the calories, but it tells you the fat, sodium, sugars, cholesterol, etc that are in each food.
The choices they have are unbelievably specific, too. I searched "everything bagel and cream cheese" and it brought up a list of choices, including Thomas Everything Bagels, which was the kind I was eating. (Btw, at 270 calories that wasn't the best choice of my day.) It also had PastaRoni Shells & White Cheddar and the other things I ate. You can also specify how many servings or cups of each item you ate. Fabulous!
Also, you can put in your fitness activities, too. Same deal: you search for the activity, and then enter in how many minutes you did it, and it calculates the calories you burned. And again, there are maaaany choices. I'm quite impressed with how thorough this app is.
Of course this app can't be completely exact (I'd assume), because each person has a different body fat content etc, but it'll at least be a good indicator of how well you're doing. Plus, keeping a food diary at all is great, because it makes you aware of what you're putting into your body.
So often I just mindlessly eat, and before I know it, the bag of chips is empty, and I don't even remember how full it was to begin with. Or I'll eat "just a few brownies" without watching how many calories I'm racking up. But with this food diary, I'm already paying more attention to what I'm eating :). It's sort of like a game: I don't want to go over my calorie limit or I'll "lose". I don't know, I think it's fun :).
Do you keep a food journal? What kind? Has it worked for you? Share your story in the comments!